My Enchanted Islands
Imagine yourself walking through white, sandy beaches. You can hear the splash of the waves against the volcanic rocks at your feet. You can feel the soft sprinkle of the water as it hits, refreshing your skin from the intense heat of the sun above. You can see the blue, crystalline color of the water fade into shades of green and dark blue as it gets closer to the horizon, where the sun will set. You feel the breeze blow your hair in its direction, and with it, the breeze also blows away all of the worries and problems you may have. For a moment, you forget about everything and focus only on the renewal you feel as you become part of this beautiful scenery.
You might ask yourself: how is such a wonderful place even possible? From experience, I can tell you that it is very real, and it sits on the invisible line of the equator. The Galapagos Islands belongs to my native country of Ecuador. My whole life, I had dreamed about being a marine biologist and as a child read many books and stories about all the animals that inhabited these enchanted islands. I wanted to travel there and see for myself how incredible this place really is. Luckily for me, my dad decided to take me to my dream vacation place as an early graduation present, and this is how the most amazing and touching experience of my life began.
The trip started off by taking a half an hour flight to the port of Guayaquil, the second biggest city in Ecuador, and then boarded another plane to take us to the one and only airport of the Galapagos. This flight took what seemed like an eternity of 4 hours until we arrived at the airport in the island of Baltra. Once got through the high security personnel to prevent anyone bringing in anything that could affect the normal environment of the islands, we were set off on boats to the island of Santa Cruz, where we were staying with family friends who happen to be some of the very few “natives” of Galapagos. Because the place where we were dropped off by the boats is on the complete opposite side of the island, we had to travel in a taxi across Santa Cruz to get to Puerto Ayora, the only port and city in this island. It was through here that we embarked on all of our tour boats on to go snorkeling and to visit the other islands.
The week I spent in the Galapagos, swimming in the Pacific Ocean with sharks, marine turtles, sea lions, various fish, penguins, and marine iguanas is simply indescribable. Only by going and seeing it with your own eyes, will you actually understand the grandeur and majesty of this unbelievably enchanting place. Never in a million years would I have imagined myself hiking through volcanic rocks, learning about the history, flora, and fauna of the islands and actually seeing all the animals I read about in books when I was little, in real life. The blue footed boobies, and frigates, the marine iguanas, and the Galapagos tortoises, such as Lonesome George, are creatures that can only be seen and appreciated in the Galapagos Islands. They are unique, and beautiful, and if you are meant to be here, seeing them will open your eyes to how majestic our earth really is, and how imperative it is for us to take care of it.
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